Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) are ubiquitous and contaminate soil, surface waters, atmospheric aerosol, precipitations, indoor and outdoor environments. However, the occurrence, transformation and fate of NPs in the environment are still unclear. In this work, polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NPs) are used as a proxy of NPs to study their reactivity and potential impact on atmospheric and surface waters. In particular, the reactivity with hydroxyl radicals ([rad]OH) in the aqueous phase is investigated. For the first time, a reactivity constant for the reaction of NPs with [rad]OH is measured, strongly dependent on the exposed particle surface area of NPs. Degradation products (short chain carboxylic acids and aromatic compounds), obtained by direct and [rad]OH-mediated photolysis of PS-NPs suspensions, are identified by mass spectrometry. Irradiation of a PS-NPs suspension under natural sunlight for 1 year has shown the formation of formic acid and organic compounds similar to those found in riverine and cloud dissolved organic matter, which could contribute significantly to the dissolved organic matter in the aqueous phase.

Degradation of nanoplastics in the environment: Reactivity and impact on atmospheric and surface waters

Sordello F.;Vione D.;Passananti M.
Last
2020

Abstract

Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) are ubiquitous and contaminate soil, surface waters, atmospheric aerosol, precipitations, indoor and outdoor environments. However, the occurrence, transformation and fate of NPs in the environment are still unclear. In this work, polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NPs) are used as a proxy of NPs to study their reactivity and potential impact on atmospheric and surface waters. In particular, the reactivity with hydroxyl radicals ([rad]OH) in the aqueous phase is investigated. For the first time, a reactivity constant for the reaction of NPs with [rad]OH is measured, strongly dependent on the exposed particle surface area of NPs. Degradation products (short chain carboxylic acids and aromatic compounds), obtained by direct and [rad]OH-mediated photolysis of PS-NPs suspensions, are identified by mass spectrometry. Irradiation of a PS-NPs suspension under natural sunlight for 1 year has shown the formation of formic acid and organic compounds similar to those found in riverine and cloud dissolved organic matter, which could contribute significantly to the dissolved organic matter in the aqueous phase.
742
140413
140421
Dissolved organic matter; Hydroxyl radical; Kinetic constant; Nanoplastics; Polystyrene
Bianco A.; Sordello F.; Ehn M.; Vione D.; Passananti M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1759930
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